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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Upcoming Special Report: Low Cost Conceptual CAD Design Tools

March 14th, 2017 by Susan Smith

In a world where we hear mostly about leading CAD design software programs, it’s refreshing to note that it’s possible to find low cost conceptual CAD design tools with file-level compatibility and a multitude of functions at a fraction of the price. The usual concerns of, “will this software integrate with the software I already have?” or “will I be able to execute this function on the cheaper software?” or, “will my intellectual property retain its integrity in the low cost software?” are all valid concerns for the cost-saving seeker.

Perot-Museum-of-Nature-and-Science-mainAECCafe Voice will cover a number of these offerings in our upcoming article on this topic. Questions I have include:

– As a user, what factors led you to seek out a lower cost conceptual design option?

– What features does this tool have and how does it compare to leading CAD conceptual software tools?

– How is the integration of this tool with other popular softwares out there?

– Can you rely strictly on this low cost option or do you need to also buy a license/subscription for a higher cost CAD offering?

– What are the options for your low cost tool in terms of purchase, i.e., subscription only, desktop only, subscription/desktop options or other?

– How is the customer service for your low cost tool?

– What other factors can you describe that have you either sold or not sold on this low

cost design tool for your business?

– How important is file compatibility with other leading CAD software programs to you?

– Do you work in the cloud; if so what features does your software offer for cloud?

To vendors and users, please send any responses, materials, videos, photos or collateral materials to or your experience with any of the low cost design tools you are using currently or have used in the past. Responses are due by March 22, 2017. We’d love to hear from you! You can email me at

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Categories: 2D, 3D, AEC, architecture, BIM, building information modeling, collaboration, construction, engineering, IES, IFC, mobile, point clouds, project management, site planning, visualization

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